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Tenaciously Tennis


Federer Fades Early in Rome; Schnyder Surprised

Posted in Ernests Gulbis,Patty Schnyder,Roger Federer,Simona Halep by Ben on April 30, 2010

In a shocker of a match, the Latvian Ernests Gulbis dethroned the 2009 King of Clay, Roger Federer in the first round of the Rome Masters event in a lopsided 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 affair. Playing in his first clay match of the year, Roger’s loss calls into question his drive and ability to succeed in the surface that typically alludes his success. However, even more interesting is the fact that the Swiss took home the French Open last year. Can he do the same this year with a healthy Nadal back in action becomes the question.

In the Associated Press article, “Federer Loses to Gulbis in Second Round of Rome,” he is quoted as saying, ““I hope I can come back from this. That’s usually what I do after a loss like this …Sometimes it takes a loss to wake up and shake you up for your approach the next week. When you always win, sometimes you forget how hard it is. That’s why today I don’t get too worried about this loss.”

The match, along with being his first on clay, was also his first in approximately one month.”He took off several weeks after losing in the fourth round in Key Biscayne, Fla., at the end of March,” continued the article. Federer blames his serve for the uncharacteristic loss. For example, he got in less than 50 percent of his first serves in, reports the article. Gulbis landed in 71 percent. Match play probably plays a large part in this poor showing.

Although Federer is used to winning and taking out lower ranked guys through intimidation and sheer skill, as the years go on, he’ll find himself losing more and more, especially as his schedule of play lessens to mostly the top tier of events. With his dominance these past few years, maybe that challenge is a welcome one.

On the WTA side, personal favorite and fellow Swiss, Patty Schnyder, also succumbed to a lower-ranked player. Schnyder, who is in a senior slump of her own, was taken out in the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix SAR in Fez, Morocco by the Romanian teenager, Simona Halep. With the successful results coming fewer and farther between, the veteran Schnyder, a former perennial top ten player, might just call it quits after this year is finished.

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